Does Speaking Up Make a Difference?

In the current political climate, it’s easy to become frustrated and start thinking that your voice doesn’t count. But we’re here to tell you that when you advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, your voice is heard. It does count. And, we have proof.

Every year hundreds of advocates like you come together on Capitol Hill for the annual Disability Policy Seminar for three days. For the first two days of the seminar, you hear from disability policy experts and other advocates about the most pressing issues facing the I/DD community this year. Then, on the third day, you take the Hill by storm with your fellow advocates and personally meet with your Senators and Representatives, including members of key committees that control the legislation you want to see passed or defeated. We have done some research and discovered that at least for the past few years, Congressional sponsorship of crucial bills important to the I/DD community increased in the months immediately following the annual seminar.

So, what issues were discussed during those meetings? What bills were pushed? That was up to you. All we know is, after your visits, many of those Senators and Representatives seemed to suddenly decide to co-sponsor bills to positively impact the lives of people with I/DD.  And, many of those bills were subsequently passed into law. Maybe it was coincidence. We think it was because of you.

The 2011 Disability Policy Seminar is February 14-16 and early registration ends January 11. Are you registered yet?